Food Law News - FAO/WHO/WTO/Codex - 2006
24-28 April 2006
CODEX - Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants (38 th Session), The Hague, The Netherlands
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The Thirty-eighth Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants reached the following conclusions:
MATTERS FOR ADOPTION/CONSIDERATION BY THE 29TH SESSION OF THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION:
Draft and Proposed draft Standards and Related Texts at Steps 8 or 5/8 of the Uniform Procedure, respectively
The Committee forwarded:
- Draft revision of the Preamble of the Codex General Standard for Food Additives, at Step 8 (para. 55 and Appendix V)
- Draft and proposed draft food additive provisions of the General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), at Step 8 and 5/8, respectively (para. 81 and Appendix XI)
- Proposed draft Amendments to the International Numbering System for Food Additives, at Step 5/8 (para. 104 and Appendix XVI)
- Specifications for the Identity and Purity of Food Additives arising from the 65th JECFA meeting, at Step 5/8 (para. 110 and Appendix XVII)
- Proposed draft Appendix to the Codex Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxins Contamination in Tree Nuts – Additional Measures for the Prevention and Reduction of Aflatoxins in Brazil nuts (N08-2005), at Step 5/8 (para. 123 and Appendix XX)
- Draft Maximum Level for Lead in Fish, at Step 8 (para. 153 and Appendix XXIV)
- Draft Maximum Levels for Cadmium in marine bivalve molluscs (excluding oysters and scallops) and in cephalopods (without viscera) and in polished rice, at Step 8 (para. 159 and Appendix XXV)
- Proposed draft Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Dioxin and Dioxin-like PCB Contamination in foods and feeds, at Step 5/8 (para. 169 and Appendix XXVI)
- Proposed draft revised Guideline Levels for Radionuclides in Foods Contaminated Following a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency for Use in International Trade, at Step 5/8 (para. 198 and Appendix XXXI)
- Proposed Draft Standards and Related Texts at Step 5 of the Uniform Procedure
The Committee forwarded:
- Proposed draft revision of the Codex Class Names and the International Numbering System for Food Additives – CAC/GL 36-2003” (N07-2005) (para. 98 and Appendix XV)
- Proposed draft Maximum Level for Total Aflatoxins in Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios “Ready-to-Eat” (para. 132 and Appendix XXII)
- Proposed draft Maximum Levels for Tin in Canned Foods (other than beverages) and in Canned Beverages (para. 183 and Appendix XXVIII)
Proposals for New Work and for Discontinuation of Work
The Committee agreed to submit, through the Executive Committee, the proposals for new work on:
- Guidelines for the Use of Flavourings (para. 87 and Appendix XIV)
- Revision of the Preamble of the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Foods and the Procedural Manual (para. 119 and Appendix XIX)
- Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Ochratoxin A Contamination in Wine (para. 140 and Appendix XXIII)
- Code of Practice for the Reduction of Acrylamide in Food (para. 185 and Appendix XXIX)
- Code of Practice for the Reduction of Contamination of Food with PAH from Smoking and Direct Drying Processes (para. 188 and Appendix XXX)
The Committee agreed to:
- Discontinue work on a number of food additive draft and proposed draft provisions (para. 81 and Appendix XIII).
Other Matters for Consideration by the 29th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
The Committee agreed to:
- Forward to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, for inclusion in the GSFA, the food additive provisions of the Codex commodity standards with a one-to-one relationship to GSFA food categories and to recommend to the Commission to revoke the corresponding food additive provisions of the GSFA that are inconsistent with these provisions, including the consequential changes in parent food categories as illustrated in CX/FAC 06/38/7, Annex IV that would be prepared by the Codex Secretariat (para. 63 and see Appendix VII)
- Forward to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for inclusion in the GSFA, an amended Annex to Table 3 of the GSFA, so that the general provisions of Table 3 do not apply to these food categories or standardized foods (para. 63 and Appendix VIII)
- Request the Codex Alimentarius Commission to replace the list of food additives of those Codex commodity standards that have a one-to-one correspondence with GSFA food categories, with text that refers to the provisions of the relevant GSFA food categories (para. 63 and Appendix IX)
- Recommend to the Commission to request Codex commodity committees, when they consider new entries or revisions of food additive provisions in commodity standards, to provide to the Committee justification of technological need for the food additives based upon Section 3.2 of the Preamble to the GSFA (para. 63)
- Recommend the Codex Alimentarius Commission to revoke a number of food additive provisions (para. 81 and Appendix XII)
- Forward the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Foods, including Schedule I to the Commission for adoption (para. 119 and Appendix XVIII)
- Recommend to the Codex Alimentarius Commission that specific reference to the GSCTF be included in the sections on contaminants of Codex commodity standards, e.g. “The products covered by this Standard shall comply with the Maximum Levels of the Codex General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Foods (CODEX/STAN 193-1995) and the maximum residue limits for pesticides and veterinary drugs established by the CAC” (para. 119)
- Forward a request for a FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the health risks associated with methylmercury and dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs in fish and the health benefits of fish consumption; to postpone consideration on the need to revise the guideline levels for methylmercury in fish pending the outcomes of the requested FAO/WHO Expert Consultation and to retain the current Codex guideline levels for the time-being. In addition it was decided not to proceed with the development of a list of predatory fish and not to start compiling data on the ratio of methyl mercury to total mercury in different fish species and to possibly consider this at a later stage with a particular focus on the different ratios for shellfish. (paras 191-193),
- Request to revise the GSFA descriptor of food category 13.6 “Food supplements” (para para. 214 and Appendix XXXIII).
ENDORSEMENT AND/OR REVISION OF MAXIMUM LEVEL FOR FOOD ADDITIVES AND PROCESSING AIDS IN CODEX STANDARDS
- Agreed not to endorse provisions regarding the use of Annatto Extracts (INS 160b), included in several draft and proposed draft Standards, because JECFA had assigned a temporary ADI for this food additive (para. 40)
Codex Committee for Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)
- Endorsed the food additive provisions in the draft revised Standard for Processed Cereal-Based Foods for Infants and Young Children. It endorsed the additional provisions presented related to Section 3.9 “Flavours” and recommended that the Codex Alimentarius Commission include them in Section 4 “Food Additives” (paras 42-43 and Appendix IV).
Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products (CCMMP)
- Endorsed all the food additive provisions, except for Gluconic Acid (INS 574), in the draft and proposed draft Standards, with some modifications; it also endorsed the two lists of food additive provisions for use in plain fermented milks and in heat-treated fermented milks (plain) to be included in Codex Standard for Fermented Milks, and requested CCMMP to consider whether Microcrystalline Cellulose (INS 460i) and Powdered Cellulose (INS 460ii) should be used in these products (paras 44-45 and Appendix IV).
Codex Committee on Cereals, Pulses and Legumes (CCCPL)
- Endorsed the food additive provisions in the draft Standard for Instant Noodles, with some modifications and deleted all additives associated with the technological function “Sweetener”. It also noted that the Maximum Levels for Tartrazine (INS 102), Sunset Yellow FCF (INS 110), Amaranth (INS 123), Fast Green FCF (INS 143), Curcumin (INS 100i) and Carmines (INS 120) might be reconsidered in the future, depending on the outcome of the JECFA dietary exposure assessment (paras 46-47 and Appendix IV).
MATTERS REFERRED TO CODEX COMMITTEES AND TASK FORCES
The Committee agreed to :
Executive Committee (CCEXEC)
- Forward a table compiling all the information concerning the time frame for the completion of the ongoing work (see para. 9 and Appendix II).
Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP)
- Forward the proposed Procedures to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, through the Codex Committee on General Principles, for adoption and inclusion in the Codex Procedural Manual (see paras 57-60 and Appendix VI);
- Establish an electronic Working Group to consider the relevant amendments to the Procedural Manual, including: i) Format for Codex commodity standards, section on food additives; ii) Relations between commodity committees and general committees, section on food additives and contaminants; and iii) Terms of reference of the Committee (para. 68);
Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL)
- Request the Codex Committee on Food Labelling to clarify the labelling requirements of carrier and packaging gas and to forward the revised Section 2 (Table of functional classes, definitions and technological uses) of the Codex Class Names and International Numbering System for comment (paras 97 and 99 and Appendix XV)
Codex Committee on Methods of Analysis and Sampling (CCMAS)
- Reply that the work on methods of analysis for dioxin and dioxin-like PCB was necessary for the screening of the presence of dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs in feed and food, and eventually for the development of performance criteria for screening and confirmatory methods (para. 168).
Codex Committee on Nutrition and Food for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU)
- Forward the revised Section 2 (Table of functional classes, definitions and technological uses) of the Codex Class Names and International Numbering System for information (para. 99 and Appendix XV).
Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR)
- Treat the revision of the Codex Classification of Foods and Animal Feeds as a priority (para. 119).
MATTERS OF INTEREST TO THE CODEX ALIMENTARIUS COMMISSION AND/OR CODEX COMMITTEE AND TASK FORCES
The Committee agreed to:
- Discontinue work on other proposed draft and draft food additive provisions, as proposed in CX/FAC 06/38/7. It was agreed that these provisions would be included in the Appendix of the draft and proposed draft food additive provisions to be discontinued, arising from the discussion of Agenda Item 6b “Food Additive Provisions in the Codex General Standard for Food Additives” (para. 63 and Appendix XIII);
- Establish an electronic Working Group to prepare a discussion paper describing in full the impacts of the revisions on the food additive provisions in the relevant GSFA food categories with a one-to-many relationship to a commodity standard, for circulation, comments and further discussion at the next session of the Committee (para.64);
- Request the Codex Secretariat to prepare every year an updated version of the “Working document for information and support to the discussion on the GSFA” (para. 72);
- Reconvene the physical ad hoc Working Group on the Codex General Standard for Food Additives prior to its next session (para. 74)
- Incorporate into the GSFA the proposed food additive provisions: for Lutein from Tagetes erecta L (INS 161b(i)) and Zeaxanthin (INS 161h) at Step 4 and for Aspartame-Acesulfame Salt (962) at Step 3 and to include peroxyacid antimicrobial solutions in the Inventory of Processing Aids as antimicrobial agent (para. 75)
- Re-establish the electronic Working Group on the GSFA to consider the outstanding recommendations contained in CX/FAC 06/38/10, comments contained in CX/FAC 06/38/9 Parts 1 and 2, relevant decisions of the 37th and 38 th CCFAC and new comments submitted in response to the Circular Letter to be issued by the Codex Secretariat (para. 79)
- Request the Codex Secretariat to issue a separate Circular Letter requesting comments by 15 September 2006 on a number of food additive provisions (para. 80 and Appendix X)
- Consider the listing of additives used in glazes, coatings, marking inks and surface decorations in the GSFA at a later stage (para. 84)
- Establish an electronic Working Group to develop a discussion paper on guidelines and principles on the use of processing aids and accepted the offer of the Delegation of New Zealand to prepare a further updated version of the Inventory of Processing Aids (IPA) (paras 92-93)
- Reconvene the ad hoc Working Group on Specifications prior to its next session, under the Chairmanship of Denmark (para. 107)
- Reconvene the ad hoc Working Group on Contaminants and Toxins in Foods prior to the next Session of the Committee under the Chairmanship of the European Community (para. 117)
- Retain the proposed draft Sampling Plan at Step 4 awaiting outcome of the discussion paper on Maximum Levels of aflatoxins in tree nuts (para. 126 and Appendix XXI)
- Establish an electronic Working Group to expand the discussion paper on the aflatoxin level in ready-to-eat tree nuts (para. 129);
- • Re-establish the electronic Working Group to revise the discussion paper on aflatoxin contamination in Brazil nuts; it also agreed that discussion on a sampling plan for Brazil nuts should be performed as part of the ongoing discussion on a sampling plan for aflatoxin in tree nuts (para. 134)
- Re-establish the electronic Working Group to revise and update the Discussion Paper on Deoxynivalenol (DON) (para. 138)
- Establish two electronic Working Groups to prepare separate discussion papers on Ochratoxin A (OTA) in coffee and on Ochratoxin A (OTA) in cocoa (para. 145)
- Return the proposed draft Code of Practice for the Reduction of Chloropropanols during the Production of Acid Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVPs) and Products that Contain acid HVPs (N05-2005) to Step 2 for revision by the electronic Working Group (para. 174)
- Maintain the proposed draft Maximum Level for 3-MCPD in Liquid Condiments Containing HVPs at Step 4 and to re-establish the electronic Working Group on Acid-HVP Containing Products and other Products containing Chloropropanol (paras 176-177 and Appendix XXVII)
- Postpone discussion on the risk communication aspects of methylmercury in fish until a general discussion on this issue within Codex could give guidance on this matter (para. 194)
- Request proposals for addition or amendments to the revised Priority List of Food Additives, Contaminants and Naturally Occurring Toxicants under a separate Circular letter which would also contain the questionnaire for submission, for consideration at its next session (para. 209 and Appendix XXXII)
- Establish an electronic Working Group to revise the Discussion paper on aflatoxin contamination in dried figs (para. 211)
- Establish an electronic Working Group to develop a discussion paper for the revision of the Food Category System of the GSFA (para. 215).
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